Ononis vulgaris Rouy pro parte
In medieval Russia, it used to be used for manufacturing Bulat steel. Though the original process is now lost, it is known it involved dipping the finished weapon into a vat containing a special liquid of which spiny restharrow extract was a part (the plant's name in Russian, stalnik, reflects its historical role), then holding the sword aloft while galloping on a horse, allowing it to dry and harden against the wind.
In traditional Russian herbal medicine, it is used as an anodyne, antiphlogistic, aperient, coagulant and diuretic. It is considered helpful in treating urinary catarrh, kidney inflammation, and rheumatism, as well as aiding those who accumulate uric acid and are susceptible to kidney stones. A decoction of restharrow is used to treat eczema and other skin problems. It is used over an average course of six weeks to treat hemorrhoids, chronic constipation and infections of the anus.
- Zevin, Igor Vilevich. A Russian Herbal. 1997. Rochester, Vermont: Healing Arts Press. p.122.
- Media related to Ononis spinosa at Wikimedia Commons
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